DBI/Sala Displays a Quality Shine


Redwing, Minn.-based DBI/Sala is the world’s leading manufacturer of fall protection equipment. For 25 years, the company has prided itself on offering safety systems and products that are engineered to exceed worldwide standards, including OSHA, ANSI, CSA and CE. These exceptionally manufactured products are the result of unprecedented quality control and a commitment to technical proficiency—two qualities that, as a lean 5S manufacturing firm, the company applies to every aspect of its business.

In fact, when DBI/Sala decided to move from its existing 90,000-square foot manufacturing/office facility to a 140,000-square foot former diploma manufacturing plant, it wanted even the floors of the new facility to demonstrate that commitment to quality control and technical proficiency. So the company turned to Tennant Company, the industry leader in the manufacturing and application of innovative and high quality floor coatings.

“As a world-leading manufacturer, we want a world-class manufacturing facility that leaves no doubt about our commitment to quality,” said Brent Knoll, vice president of operations for DBI/Sala. “And as a lean 5S manufacturer, we want everyone who walks into our facility to recognize the pride we take in its appearance and care. This includes the floors, which fall under the 5S concept of shine.”

Upon purchasing its new facility, Knoll, who was familiar with Tennant floor coatings after having used them at both Honeywell and Chrysler facilities, immediately set out to have Tennant floor coatings applied to 100,000-square feet of manufacturing flooring and nearly 10,000-square feet of office and cafeteria flooring.

Tennant’s WearGuard-ITS™ Gloss Urethane topcoat in Canada Gray was chosen for the less heavily trafficked manufacturing areas that needed protection against dirt, spills and wear; and its Eco-HTS™ Satin Urethane topcoat was chosen for the busy receiving and shipping areas and auto shop that needed more heavy-duty abrasion protection. Both areas were primed with Tennant’s Eco-MPE™.

“Both the high gloss and satin finish products offer superior appearance and durability,” said Knoll. “And the results since applying them have been spectacular. Our manufacturing plant looks like an ice-skating rink yet it’s completely slip resistant.”

As for the office hallways, bathrooms and cafeteria, Knoll selected high-end decorative coatings specifically designed for high foot traffic. The office hallways and bathrooms are coated with Tennant’s Eco-DQS in Cinnamon Twist with an Eco-TCU™ topcoat—a decorative quartz coating that offers superior abrasion and chemical resistance, light stability, and a beautiful shine. In addition, Knoll customized the hallway and bathroom finishes to meet his diverse application needs, using a medium finish in the hallways and a smooth finish in the bathrooms. The cafeteria is coated with Tennant’s Eco-DFS™ with an Eco-TCU™ topcoat—a decorative flake coating that is eye-catching yet resilient.

“We wanted to use decorative coatings because we feel they help make our space look and feel more special, especially for our employees who spend so much time here at work,” said Knoll. “Tennant’s decorative coatings are not only beautiful, but they are easy to maintain and always look like new.”

Knoll is so pleased with Tennant’s coating products that he plans to have them applied to another 20,000-square feet of manufacturing space—leaving only the 10,000-square feet of carpeted flooring in the facility uncoated. “Tennant’s coating products are second-to-none. They improve our facility’s appearance, make maintenance easier, and help us fulfill our commitment to the 5Ss. We couldn’t be happier.”


Decorative Quartz and Flake • Percent Solids, 100 ASTM D2369 • Completely light stable over the normal life of the coating. Resin for seed coats: Tennant Eco-MPE™ - Multi-Purpose Epoxy. A two-component epoxy. • Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), ASTM D3960 - 0 lb/gal or 0 g/L • Tensile Strength, ASTM D2370 - 8,000 psi or 55,200 kPa • Percent Elongation, ASTM D2370 - 5% Seal Coat: Tennant Eco-TCU™ - Thick Coat Urethane. A two-component urethane. • Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), ASTM D3960 - 100 lb/gal or 0.9 g/L • Tensile Strength, ASTM D2370 - 7,000 psi or 48,300 kPa • Percent Elongation, ASTM D2370 - 7%
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